Three Regions, Six Events, One Goal: Day 2 of the KBF Trail Weekend

by Hank Veggian & Joe Haubenreich

Six events in two days, with more than 200 registered anglers, battling for prizes and glory in the August heat – it was a weekend for the ages in the 2020 RealTree Fishing KBF Trail Series presented by Dee Zee Truck Accessories. On Saturday August 1, two tournaments began in the Eastern time zone, with lines in at 6 a.m. and a third at Caddo on Central Time. On Sunday, August 2nd, everything reset, and the anglers hit the water once more in separate KBF Trail Events.

Day 1 was epic, dramatic, surprising. This is the story of day two. It is also the story of two anglers – Ken Wood and Adam Petrone – with one goal – victory. Both came close to victory on Day 1, then stormed back for wins on Day 2.

Charles River

Ken Wood didn’t dwell on his Saturday second place finish. Putting an 11th hour upset behind him, Ken found fish early in the second Realtree Fishing KBF TRAIL Series Tournament presented by Dee Zee Truck Accessories. Ken started the day with $100 in Golden Hour Big Bass bucks for an 18.50″ bass in Hour 1 of competition. He took the spot while filling a five-fish limit between 6:00 and 7:30 a.m.

26 other Northeast kayak anglers, several of whom have earned national acclaim for fishing prowess, were hot on his heels. One of them was 2019 KBF Rookie of the Year and Northeast Region AOY Derek Brundle.

Ken would not be refused, however, and he led the event nearly from wire to wire, holding off surges by Rhode Island’s Justin Lacasse and Derek Brundle.  There would be no late upset today. After day 1, Ken said later he checked the Leader Board and figured he was in good shape. Had he known his first place standing was threatened the day before, he would have stayed on the fish he’d found to increase his lead.

In Ken’s words: “On Sunday, I launched at a different section of the river, about two miles away from my day one spot. At the very first laydown, six minutes into the event, I hauled in an 18.50. After that, though, the river changed a bit, widened, got shallow. I caught my second bass on a senko, then one on a spinnerbait. I kind of junk fished from that point, just fishing the area instead of the pattern. Later, when I returned to that spot, I noticed the wind and current had pushed some “pond scum” and other funky stuff into a mat at the edge of weeds in very shallow water. I pulled out the frog, tossed it beyond the mat, and just when the frog got to the middle, a 21-inched slurped it under, that subtle inhalation that often signals a giant just ate your frog. I pulled three more out from under that mat in the next 28 minutes or so. Later, I retraced my route back to that first laydown and pulled out another 18.50, then made my way back to the spot I fished on Saturday. I caught a number of fish and upgraded once more with a 17.50.”

Ken’s effort secured the victory that narrowly escaped him the previous day.

The top 5  on the Charles River on Sunday, August 2nd were:

  1. Ken Wood 92.50”
  2. Justin Lacasse 84.25”
  3. Derek Brundle 84”
  4. Chris Nardi 81.25’
  5. Bob Pierce 80.50”

Hartwell/Keowee

In South Carolina, Palmetto State anglers were hoping to regain ground in the second Trail event at Hartwell/Keowee. South Carolina’s Reese Melven built on his strong Day 1 showing and grabbed an early lead with 57.50”, with his fellow South Carolinian  Jason Moon Patterson, who finished 3rd on Saturday, close behind. Virginia’s James Quinn held 3rd place, having won the Golden Hour Big Bass with a 19.25”. Rounding out the early top 5 were South Carolinians Cameron Young and KBF veteran Jason Broach.

It was longtime KBF angler Jason Broach who, fresh off his wedding day, held the fire to the leaders, passing several anglers on his way to a dramatic finish. Jason Patterson didn’t go from 2nd on day 1 to 1st on day 2, but he went from 12th on Saturday to 1st on Sunday, and he pulled off the win in and for his home state.

The top 5  on Lakes Hartwell/Keowee on Sunday, August  2nd were:

  1. Jason Moon Patterson 87.75”
  2. Jason Broach 83.75”
  3. Reese Melven 78.50”
  4. Travis Belcher 65”
  5. Jody Queen 56.50”

Caddo Lake

Launching in the early light that coats Louisiana before dawn, Adam Petrone had returned to his Day 1 spot near the Earl G ramp. In his words “I figured no one would fish from the ramp because it hosted lots of boat tournaments and there weren’t any grass pads to fish.” He was sticking with his plan, which was to simply fish – he had not pre-fished the lake.

Caddo produced a dizzying flow of lead changes through the day. Three hours into competition, the NRS Fishing Leader Board was popping up new names in the top spot every few minutes. One third of the way into the tournament, Josh Duffel was twelve inches ahead of his nearest competitor in First Place, dropping earlier leader Adam Petrone to second place. Gary Sharpe led the KBF Big Bass Brawl with a 22.25″ bass caught during The Golden Hour, earning him $100 to the good for Sunday.

Many of the KBF Competitors fishing the weekend events at Caddo did not have data service where they fished and had to return to their launch sites to upload toward the end of the day, but by late morning Adam Petrone had reclaimed his early lead. Later he stated “I fished right from the launch and north along the bank. I threw a frog, wacky worm and a jig. Once you figured out how and where they [the bass] position daily you could find them all along the bank. I fished down [the bank] with my frog and back with a jig.”

The other competitors made him sweat for it. Garrett Morgan of Arkansas, and Texan Jeff Isham made strong pushes late in the day, but Petrone held them off, besting Morgan by a mere quarter-inch for the win.

Petrone began his tournament fishing career with KBF Partner Club Carolina Kayak Anglers and cashed a check at the KBF Challenge Series Championship in LaCrosse, WI in October of 2019. Like Ken Wood 1,700 to the north and east, Petrone managed to overcome the heat, exhaustion and disappointment of a near-win on Day 1 to finish strong.

The top 5 on Caddo Lake on Sunday, August 2nd were:

  1. Adam Petrone 87.50”
  2. Garrett Morgan 87.25”
  3. Jeff Isham 86”
  4. James Louviere 84.50”
  5. Daniel Chambers 82.75”

Realtree Fishing KBF TRAIL Series Tournaments are presented by Dee Zee Truck Accessories. Our host for this weekend’s events are Red River Waterway Commission and Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission. Jamie Broad of Bayou Pirates Kayak Fishing is Tournament Coordinator, and Jason Adams is the South-Central Regional Coordinator. South-Central TRAIL events are made possible through support by Native Watercraft, the regional sponsor.

The Northeast Region KBF TRAIL Series event is made possible by Dakota Lithium Batteries — Go further. Last longer. Play Harder. Ken Wood is the Tournament Coordinator for KBF, and Jason Gardner is KBF Northeast Region Coordinator. Massachusetts Kayak Bassin’ is the KBF Partner primarily supporting the event in this area.

The Mid-Atlantic KBF TRAIL event is sponsored by Ketch Products Inc. The KBF Partner club that organized and supported bringing the event to their state is Palmetto State Kayak Bass Fishing Trail, with Barry Davis as Tournament Director.

Other Series sponsors are: